Master of Arts in Process-Oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies


Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2017 Cohort!

Application Deadlines:

International Applicants: August 1, 2017

Domestic Applicants: September 1, 2017


The M.A. in Process-Oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies (MAPOF) is our integrative, foundation training program in the process oriented approach to the facilitation and study of inner and outer conflicts. The program is distinct because, while each class presents a cross-disciplinary comparison of various theories and approaches to facilitating internal conflict (psychology) and external conflict (conflict studies), the program teaches the cohesive theory and practice of Processwork. Our graduates learn this cohesive theory and focus on intense practical skill training during their studies at PWI, so when they graduate they have a practical set of skills and are ready to apply these skills with expertise. 

The MAPOF is a community psychology program that prepares graduates to be facilitators of psychological and group change, building on a foundation of personal growth and development, and practical facilitation training. Facilitation is a cross-disciplinary set of skills and attitudes that can be applied in conflict resolution, coaching, counseling, and organizational consultancy or leadership.  

Learning a concrete set of facilitation skills is in line with 2010 United States Institute of Peace (USIP) recommendations for what is most needed by employers in the area of conflict resolution. USIP states: “employers strongly emphasized the needs for graduates to have conflict resolution skills — including facilitation, dialogue, and conflict resolution mainstreaming–and applied research expertise…’The primary concern,’ one senior staff member responsible for a peace building program explained, ‘is that people have tangible skills that provide direct benefits to field programs.'” 1)Carstarphen, N., Zelizer, C., Harris, R., & Smith, D. J. (2010). Graduate Education and Professional Practice in International Peace and Conflict (Special Report). Washington, DC. The MAPOF program is designed to give students robust field skills applicable in a variety of vocational settings. 

The MAPOF program covers key Processwork skill areas required to support a process oriented approach:  Innerwork, Dreambody work, Organizations and Worldwork, Relationships, and States of Consciousness. We do not offer a clinical licensure track, although some of our students choose to obtain licenses concurrently or after completing our program. This program ensures that the graduate gains both the specific set of facilitation skills and the personal development necessary to embody these skills.  The program competencies are applicable to areas of employment where emotional intelligence and soft skills are required, including social services, management and leadership positions  

Students who meet the requirements of our degree will be awarded a Master of Arts in Process-Oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies.  Information about program performance and gainful employment can be found here, MAPOF program performance

Quarter Dates   Residency Dates*
Fall: October 1, 2017-December 10, 2017 Residency 1 Oct. 2 – 15
Winter: January 5, 2018-March 13 2018 Residency 2 Feb. 3-19
Spring: April 29, 2018-July 5, 2018 Residency 3 May 18 – June 1
Summer: July 13, 2018-September 7, 2018 Distance Only
Fall: October 1, 2018-December 10, 2018 Residency 4 Oct. 5-17
Winter: January 5, 2019-March 13 2019 Residency 5 Jan. 25 – Feb. 7
Spring: April 29, 2019-July 5, 2019 Residency 6 May 19 – June 2

*All residency dates subject to change – please check regularly. 

For students interested in building on the MAPOF program or going further with  Processwork studies, find out more about becoming a Processwork Diplomate.

Have questions? Read below for more details about the MAPOF program and then sign up for an information session with our Outreach and Admissions Coordinator.

Outreach and Admissions Coordinator

President Chris Allen on the New MAPOF Program

Program Objectives

The objective of the MAPOF program is to train graduates in the specific concepts and skills of a Process-oriented model of facilitation and conflict studies that can be applied in settings including conflict resolution and facilitation, coaching, mediation, organizations, and counseling. It is a competency-based curriculum that draws primarily on Processwork as developed by Arnold Mindell, and integrates other models that take a process approach, such as aspects of the non-violent communication paradigm.

Theoretical Emphasis of the Program

The MAPOF program is based on the fundamental insight that human change processes operate across multiple levels of experience – including psychological, interpersonal and group levels – and that competency with each of these levels supports effective facilitation across the spectrum.  Accordingly we train facilitators to be able to facilitate the process of change in different contexts, from individual work to relationships and groups. For example, students learn to work with body signals as well as language signals. Students learn to read group behavior as well as individual behavior within that group. Aspects of individual work like unfolding the significance of accidents or hopes, dreams and fears are used in the facilitation of groups and organizations. Facilitators learn how to work with less-known signals like organizational atmosphere and gossip to reveal their impact and meaning for individuals and for the group.

The theoretical viewpoint underlying the program’s structure is that to learn a process approach to facilitation, it is essential to be able to follow a process on individual, relationship, and group levels of experience. Even though students may have a primary interest in individual counseling work, for example, we know that learning how to work on a group level allows graduates to more effectively facilitate individual experiences related to group behaviors, and vice versa.  Facilitators trained in the MAPOF program are able to switch between these levels with fluidity.  Our experience shows that the process-oriented perspective of working on multiple levels of an experience gives great insight and relief to persons and groups.  It creates the empowering viewpoint that personal and group problems have a kind of order to them that can be understood and facilitated.

Length and Residency Requirements

The program is two years in duration and is built on six residencies, each of two weeks length. 2)This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. Prospective international students should contact the office for more information.

The residencies combine theoretical and experiential learning and occur in Oregon, primarily at the Process Work Institute.  Some classes are held off-campus in the surrounding vicinity, for example the Oregon coast.  The off-campus components allow students to participate directly in facilitation workshops on real life issues.  It is required that students stay in housing together during these off-campus activities, as part of the relationship facilitation aspect of the program. Approximately 75% or above of the course of study is offered through the residencies, with preparation and study required before and after for each residency.  Approximately 25% or less of the classes are held online via video and audio webinar or video and audio chat. This blended model of residential learning and distance learning allows students to engage in multiple ways and enhances learning for different styles of learners.

Practicum Training

The MAPOF program provides students with practicum opportunities during their second year. PWI sponsors the River’s Way Clinic that enables students living in Oregon to participate in facilitation with clients.  The focus of the clinic is on the facilitation of relationships. This includes couple relationships, family relationships, and business and community relationships. We will also work with individual clients on their relationship issues in various parts of their lives including home and work, and on their internal relationship conflicts between various internal polarities. There will also be training in working with trauma as so many relationship conflicts remain frozen because of unprocessed trauma. The facilitation program will train students how to collaborate with other disciplines, for example how to understand when a client can’t participate in a facilitation model and needs collaboration with psychotherapy and other healing modalities.

Students not living in Oregon will participate in practicums in their home area and receive facilitation supervision from both field supervisors and PWI faculty.

Learning in Community

Trainees learn in a cohort, studying in residences together that are facilitated by the PWI faculty.  A learning community model of education accelerates the learning process through the rich exchange of experience and ideas in relationship and community. The peer network of international learners continues to work together through online learning, peer groups, and teleconferencing between residencies.

Residencies provide trainees with an opportunity to learn with experienced faculty and participate in the Portland Process Work community. Experiential, seminar-style learning allows trainees to explore concepts and methods through personal work while ‘learning labs’ provide systematic learning through video study, drills, exercises, and tutorials.


Personal interaction and the relationship between mentor and trainee is a cornerstone of the program. Trainees are offered group and personal facilitation training sessions. These include individual faculty student sessions each quarter, regular meeting with an advisor, and regular meetings with a supervisor.


References   [ + ]

1. Carstarphen, N., Zelizer, C., Harris, R., & Smith, D. J. (2010). Graduate Education and Professional Practice in International Peace and Conflict (Special Report). Washington, DC.
2. This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. Prospective international students should contact the office for more information.